Just plain evil

Up to this point, I have been criticizing many anti-tobacco groups for presenting false information about the relative safety and effectiveness of vaping and for supporting public policy that would harm the public’s health. However, I have refrained from attacking the motives or intentions of these groups, assuming instead that they are simply misguided or uninformed about the scientific evidence.

That all changes today.

After reading the position statement of the Australian Medical Association, it is now clear to me that there is thinking going on in the anti-tobacco movement that is just plain evil.

Specifically, I am now convinced that in order to preserve a certain misguided ideology in tobacco control (the idea that addiction itself is unacceptable under any circumstances), anti-tobacco groups are willing to sacrifice the health and lives of smokers.

That is Michael Siegel – Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University’s School of Public Health.

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30 Responses to Just plain evil

  1. Walter Plinge

    Nicotine sweets and patches are available in any quantity and strength in pharmacies yet vaping is bad? It’s ridiculous. I’m not a smoker but I buy nicotine lollies from time to time as they’re a useful aid to concentration while driving in the country.

  2. John constantine

    Cartel behaviour.

    No threat to their territory will be tolerated.

    Real political alternatives to prancing fancies like Trumbull and shorten would go to the election offering vaping

    ‘Shooters, Farmers, Fishers and Smokers Party’.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    [their] idea that addiction itself is unacceptable under any circumstances

    That would have the merit of consistency, at least, if it was true.
    It isn’t.

    While the Left is persecuting nicotine use they are aggressively pursuing THC. THC abuse is implicated in some serious mental issues like psychosis, which can lead to serious harm to innocents who get in the way of a perp. Tobacco tends not to cause such things (except through organised crime due to the crazy taxes).

    The issue is that nicotine condemnation is a doctrine of the Green-Left religion and THC is a favoured sacrament of that religion. Adherents of the religion must believe the former is evil and the latter is good, or they are cast out as heretics. The real problem is the religion.

  4. Leo G

    Swedish-American physiologist Anton Carlson argued in 1916 that drug addiction is driven by brain cells that also control hunger.
    Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb in the 1940s described hunger as a learned behavior, whereby eating is initially reinforcing because it minimises responses to blood nutrient changes, hunger hormones and stomach contractions. The behavior becomes organized with sensory cues leading to craving, approach and consumption, much like with drug-associated cues.
    Roy Wise in 1978 demonstrated that addictive drugs act on brain circuitry that controls feeding.
    There are a host os subsequent supporting studies.

    If Siegel is correct and thinking in the anti-tobacco movement is “about protecting the world from the scourge of addiction itself, without regard to the impact of these statements and policies on the lives of smokers”, we should expect like-minded groups to oppose the food industry. As many do.

  5. Rabz

    [their] idea that addiction itself is unacceptable under any circumstances

    Wonderful. So they won’t be advocating for the legalisation of cannabis anytime soon.

  6. Some History

    Just a word on Siegel’s background. He is a long-time, rabid prohibitionist (anti-smoking). He’s been with the current crusade since the late-1980s. He was a major contributor to the crusade in the early days. The prohibition hierarchy used him and then spat him out.

    Since the early 2000s, Siegel has distanced himself from mainstream Tobacco Control having witnessed some of the underhanded tricks and smears it’s capable of in getting its way. He started blogging in the mid-2000s about the exaggerations of TC. Week after week he would blog about flawed, peer-reviewed “research” and about misguided lobbying for more restrictions on smoking.

    For some time Siegel would refer to these flaws in research conclusions as “subconscious bias”. However, it happened so often and that the “subconscious bias” always favoured the prohibition agenda that even he had to finally concede that those in TC lie, and they lie frequently. They also falsely smear opposition and have been doing so for decades.

    At one stage he claimed that TC only went off the rails in the early 2000s and that was because the tobacco industry had vacated its policing of TC claims. One of the major themes of the prohibition crusade has been the demonising of the tobacco industry into silence. Yet Siegel even blames the tobacco industry for “abandoning” its surveillance of TC which in turn led to TC going corrupt. You couldn’t make up this stuff.

    Siegel had a considerable number of commenters on his blog. They pointed out the [corrupt] history of anti-tobacco in America going back to the mid-1800s. They pointed out the propensity of zealots/fanatics to lie for the “cause”. They pointed out the propensity of zealots/fanatics to manipulate “science”. It made no difference to his prohibitionist stance.

    Just a few years ago Siegel abandoned scrutiny of agenda-driven (anti-smoking) “research”. He abandoned scrutiny of baseless anti-smoking measures – e.g., smoking bans, taxes, denial of medical treatment, denial of employment, denial of housing – and devoted himself entirely to vaping as if vaping will solve the smoking “problem” which in turn will solve corruption in TC. But it ain’t so. In so doing he lost most of his readership.

    The problem from the outset has been prohibitionism, that smoking must be eradicated. With prohibitionists at the helm, only tyranny can ensue. It’s a lesson that the vapers haven’t yet learned. They believe that snuggling up to prohibitionists will get their vaping “absolved”. Rather, they are now the target of nasty tricks and “tactics” that were honed on smokers.

    The only solution is showing up prohibitionists as dangerously-deluded, tyrannical minds. They have an unhealthy craving for power and status. They should be nowhere near the formulation of public policy.

  7. Roger

    After reading the position statement of the Australian Medical Association, it is now clear to me that there is thinking going on in the anti-tobacco movement that is just plain evil.

    You believe in evil?

    Good…we’re making progress!

  8. Some History

    Just in the last week. The despicable treatment of smokers by the tyrannical. Why isn’t anyone scrutinizing the following, if they are even aware.


    What about this?

    SOME smokers feel so stigmatised that they won’t visit their GP, even when they have the symptoms of lung cancer, a new Australian study has found.
    Lead author Professor Jon Emery from the University of Melbourne told MJA InSight: “Even though GPs will bring up the smoking for good reason and try to get them to quit, it does have a perverse disincentive of potentially creating a barrier to help seeking when patients become symptomatic”.


    That this situation has been created by Public Health/Medical Establishment is nothing short of abominable. It’s entirely contrary to what the medical establishment is supposed to be about. Why is this only a rare scrutiny of the consequences of adopting “stances”? Worse is that any detriment in health of smokers due to the abhorrent conduct of Public health/Medical Establishment, i.e., iatrogenic, will be attributed to the “detrimental effects of smoking”.

    The little, if any, scrutiny of the consequences of cult-like “crusades” in the medical establishment is a very sick situation.

  9. Some History

    How about this?

    “As many as one in four doctors who responded to a 2005 Canadian Lung Association survey admitted to providing lesser care to smokers. A University of Washington survey published last year found just under one in 10 smokers hid their tobacco use from doctors, often because of stigma.”

    1 in 4! Lesser care to smokers! That’s extraordinarily perverse. Alarm bells are blaring. What came of this study? Absolutely nothing.

  10. duncanm

    The hypocrisy of the AMA is best exposed by their anti-vape but pro-heroin-injecting-room stance.

    As John says – its all about control. They’d be fine with vaping if it was prescription only.

  11. squawkbox

    Well, duuhh! As Homer Simpson would say.
    It has been clear for at least the last 30 years that anti-smoking has been the modern equivalent of 1984’s 2 minute’s hate. Evil smokers, killing themselves at vast cost to our public health services and then spreading their second-hand smoke everywhere to innocent puppies and babies and goldfish! Don’t you just want to smash their faces in with a rubber truncheon!?
    If they all started vaping, who would we have left to hate?

  12. Some History

    If you’re going to quote Siegel, how about this?

    The question of iatrogenesis was occasionally put to Michael Siegel. Here’s his response (see comments section from link):

    “Sadly, the problem of medical errors and iatrogenic illness is one that has not received appropriate attention. You are correct that it causes a great deal of morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the medical and health care establishment has been quick to criticize others, but when it makes mistakes, it almost never acknowledges them. Many hospitals have opposed simple right-to-know laws that required them to report medical errors that are made. I experienced this on a personal level during my medical school training (I didn’t make the mistake, I observed someone else doing so).”

    It’s just more evidence that the contemporary Medical Industrial Complex is out of control. While it wants its nose in the minutiae of people’s lives, it pays almost no attention to the dangers that the MIC poses to the public. It’s self-protective in the sickly, corrupt sense.

  13. H B Bear

    As John says – its all about control. They’d be fine with vaping if it was prescription only.


  14. Some History

    Nurse Ratched (also known as “Big Nurse”) is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, as well as the 1975 film. A cold, heartless tyrant, Nurse Ratched has become the stereotype of the nurse as a battleaxe. She has also become a popular metaphor for the corrupting influence of power and authority in bureaucracies such as the mental institution in which the novel is set.

    Here’s a snippet from OFOTCN with Ratched bullying/agitating a smoking patient:

    The Nurse Ratched mentality is no longer confined to isolated cases within the medical establishment. There are now complete smoking bans – indoor and out – for hospital and for mental health facilities. Nurse Ratched has been institutionalized. A nasty, cruel, totalitarian streak has been allowed to flourish in the medical system. The entire administration has become cold, heartless, and tyrannical.
    The main problem is Public Health from the WHO down. Nurse Ratched, the institution, has infected the medical establishment, academia, and government at all levels. Public Health has become the domain of the neurotic, the megalomaniacal, the greedy, the cranky, the sadistic.

  15. Nicotine, like alcohol, gives vent to the modern day Puritan AKA control freak. It tends to drive them up the wall when other people won’t do what they tell them.

    In a nastier sense, people who smoke or drink can be referred to in scathing terms no longer permissible on any other social group. At base, there’s no difference between a bigot and a puritan.


  16. Some History

    Here’s why vapers have become part of the problem, that only they are on the receiving end of evil.

    Look at the link on stigma:

    The article is showing up very serious problems in Public Health/Medical Establishment. There are psychological issues, relational issues, social issues, moral issues, administrative issues, ideo-political issues.

    Now look at the comments section at the same link. It’s vapers promoting vaping. They are utterly clueless to the issues involved. They by-pass it all. They come prancing in with “vaping will solve everything”. It won’t. There’s a very nasty streak in the medical establishment and government that goes far beyond smoking/vaping. It’s been allowed to flourish for decades and is going to take much work to correct. And vapers aren’t helping any.

  17. Indigo

    Heroin addicts are treated better than smokers. And you should note both the World Health Organisation and the American Cancer Society and on the record in the nineties saying the is NO danger of cancer from second hand smoke.

  18. On the lighter side, and written as a life-long smoker who finally quit a few years ago, meet Mr. Greenskull who’s determined to quit as well, but having a bad day.



  19. Tel

    Heroin addicts are treated better than smokers.

    If you smoke tobacco you get forced to pay the disability pension of the heroin addict.

  20. Baldrick

    In a submission to the Australian government, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) argues that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit …

    Mmyess, let’s ban e-cigarettes so those who enjoy a nicotine hit can continue buying cigarettes.
    And these people call themselves academics?

  21. C.L.

    The AMA is a fascist organisation and does, indeed, advocate evil.
    For example, it supports criminals who kill children.
    In 2013 its turd boss opposed moves to make killing a woman’s unborn child a separate offence.

    Abortion fears raised over proposed NSW foetus law.

    The New South Wales Health Minister and Attorney-General have taken opposing sides over proposed legislation to change the legal definition of an unborn child.

    MPs will be allowed a conscience vote on the private member’s bill, which is designed to allow criminal liability for the death of a foetus that is at least 20 weeks old.

    Currently, charges can only be laid over the injury or death of the mother…

    The bill is also known as Zoe’s law, after a baby stillborn when her mother was struck by a car in Mr Spence’s electorate…

    The AMA’s NSW president, Brian Owler, has also spoken against the law, saying it could potentially impact on women’s access to late-term abortions.

    “The problem is that once you actually recognise the foetus as being a person with rights, it’s actually not possible for the mother, for instance, to give consent for someone to actually perform the abortion,” Associate Professor Owler said.

    “We don’t really know what the consequences are going to be, only that there would be some significant consequences and what we don’t want to do is upset the fine balance that we’ve been able to achieve.”

  22. Vagabond

    The AMA is a fascist organisation and does, indeed, advocate evil.

    The AMA is beyond repair. Their most recent VicDoc publication has a nauseating article in it about an organisation called “Doctors for the Environment” or somesuch, drivelling on about how good the closure of Hazelwood was and how the destruction of all coal fired stations should follow. It was followed by a grovelling apology by the current president for offending the Guardian newspaper in an article about climate change.


    I love what I do, but horrors like that make me ashamed to belong to the profession.

  23. Some History

    To the vapers in particular.

    Video (~7 mins) just went up yesterday.

    Letter to Theresa May

    It’s by “vapingpoint” in the UK, an ex-smoker turned vaper. You’ll note that she isn’t a rabid antismoker. Rather, she’s wanting to know when the persecution of smokers will end.

    The turfing of prohibitionists is for the betterment of smokers/vapers/nonsmokers.


  24. Helen

    I read Seigel’s article and the comments there, then the comments here. As I read, I mentally substituted marijuana, for tobacco (try it). They provide a good argument for the legislation of marijuana which is only illegal, compared with tobacco, through a quirk of history. Maybe also other drugs.
    After all, with prohibitionists at the helm, only tyranny can ensure. If you object to prohibition for nicotine, why not for marijuana?
    Re the evils of the anti-tobacco movement, surely matched or beaten by the evils of the pro-tobacco industry.
    Disclaimer: not a smoker, but an asthma sufferer bought up in a house with chain smokers. Causation? Well, asthma improved radically when workplaces, restaurants etc went smoke-free.

  25. It’s a lesson that the vapers haven’t yet learned. They believe that snuggling up to prohibitionists will get their vaping “absolved”. Rather, they are now the target of nasty tricks and “tactics” that were honed on smokers.

    Every vaper is a potential anti-statist that should be recruited to the cause. Unless the statists want to run with “wowserfauxbia” as a smear, wowsers are a target rich environment.

    The reason science doesn’t argue from authority is because it’s a rort. Manipulate your way into authority and encase yourself in a false veil of invincibility to dictate to others based on the same authority which you manipulated your way into. It’s no different to arguing that no police are ever dishonest because they’re trained not to be. No one believes that, yet people push that very falsity onto other professions.

  26. Anon

    Methylated Spirits, long ago governments decided that pure alcohol was too cheap and plentiful and that alcoholics would drink it, s o the government required that the alcohol be poisoned to discourage consumption. They knew full well that some people would continue to drink it but that was of no consequence. Now all around the world people die every year ingesting a substance that has been deliberately poisoned by law. Why would tobacco be different?

  27. Some History

    Re the evils of the anti-tobacco movement, surely matched or beaten by the evils of the pro-tobacco industry.

    No way. Not by a long shot. The tobacco industry looks angelic next to the shenanigans of prohibitionists. Prohibitionists (specifically tobacco/alcohol) have a peculiar propensity for working themselves into a frenzy that wreaks much havoc, all the while claiming that they hold the moral ground. Remember that antismoking goes back 400 years. There were nasty antismoking crusades long before there was a tobacco industry.

    After all, with prohibitionists at the helm, only tyranny can ensure. If you object to prohibition for nicotine, why not for marijuana?

    While I think there’s an argument for decriminalization of drug use, all drugs are not equal in effect. For example, tobacco and marijuana are not interchangeable. Tobacco use is not intoxicating or cognitively debilitating where a person cannot carry out work or converse/interact rationally while “under the influence”. Rather, nicotine is a mild stimulant on a par with caffeine. It’s a cognitive enhancer. Conversely, marijuana use is intoxicating (stoned). Performance can be impaired while under the influence. Then there are the narcotics that can render users semi or unconscious. Further, one miscalculated dose can be lethal. Alcohol can also be intoxicating and in sufficient quantity over a short session can also be lethal.

    I should also add that nicotine is not peculiar to tobacco. There are small quantities in potatoes, tomatoes, egg plant, green peppers, black tea.

    It’s just one of the tragic consequences of the prohibitionist onslaught that tobacco/nicotine is spoken of in the same breath as heroin and cocaine.

    I’ve posted information on nicotine elsewhere. See comments here:

  28. Some History

    It’s just more evidence that the contemporary Medical Industrial Complex is out of control. While it wants its nose in the minutiae of people’s lives, it pays almost no attention to the dangers that the MIC poses to the public.



  29. Wayne Job

    Smokers living in the country have the same percentage of lung cancer as non smokers living in the city, smokers living in the city have a tenfold risk. I would say ban cities before smoking is banned, it is more dangerous.

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